It's Bad That Russia Influenced The Election, But It's Even Worse That 60 Million Deplorables Did Too

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Raise your hand you knew, before this year, that the electors chosen in each state — the people who actually determine who the next president will be — could, if they want to, decide to opt out and choose against their state's wishes. Ok, I see a few of you in the back with your hands up, and I commend you wonky motherfuckers for staying awake that day in 10th grade civics class and retaining that lesson for the last 20 years. Unfortunately, I presume that most people reading this kept their hands where mine are — in my pockets. And, like me, were very familiar with how the electoral college process worked, but never quite knew until this year that a member of the electoral college could conceivably just say "Fuck it" and choose against the candidate their state voted for.


Of course, opting out has actually happened so few times before that the electors' choice is regarded as a formality. But this year's election has been so jarring and devastating that it's had us searching and hoping for any type of contingency plan or last second salvo to prevent the inevitable. Including, today, the paradoxical dynamic of having faith in the faithless elector.

Anyway, it's pretty much confirmed now that Russia did attempt to sabotage the election, and that the purpose of their political vandalism was to help Donald Trump get elected. And while we're not sure if Vladimir Putin interfered because he has an affinity for Trump or because he believed a Trump victory would make America weaker (or both), it's also been confirmed that he was directly involved with the hacking.

This is not exactly new news. Even before both the CIA and the FBI pointed to Russia, it was long suspected that Russia was somehow behind the leaks. But between our intelligence agencies agreeing on something for the first time ever and that we also now know that Republican leadership knew about this but chose to keep it a secret, there seems to be an urge for something to be done about this. I'm not sure what actually could be done — this isn't teeball and we're not getting an election do-over — but something has to be done. Because Russia. And Russia is bad.

I just…I don't know man. I mean, I know Putin is essentially the devil incarnate. And I'm not particularly happy that we allowed another country to wield such an influence on us. But I just can't muster much outrage about it, especially when it just means that over 60 million Americans were either gullible or racist enough (or both) to vote for Trump. 60 million deplorable motherfuckers the rest of us have to share space with, live next to, and sometimes even work for. They are the imminent threat. They are the national security risk. They are the ones who ultimately committed a treasonous act. They are the ones the international community should hold in contempt and the United Nations should sanction. They are the ones who need to be monitored, forced to register, and barred from entering airports, shopping malls, and Target. Being pissed at Russia for the election is like being mad at the person who fucked your spouse. Regardless of what they said or how flirty and forward they were, your spouse still made the decision to cheat. Putin could have hacked every email account, every Facebook page, and inserted subliminal messaging on everyone's Pinterest visionboards. Shit, Putin could have done that and offered free lollipops and lapdances and it wouldn't have mattered if there weren't so many small, stupid, and shitty people here.

This — and not the faithless electors or how the F.B.I. influenced the election or recounts or Russia just deciding to go Peak Russia — is what we collectively need to be concerned about and focused on. What the fuck are we going to do about the tens of millions of people who voted for this, who want all the terrible things that are happening to happen? And, it's not like we can just contain them to Montana and Outback Steakhouses either. They're everywhere. They're our neighbors, they're at our jobs, they're behind us in line at Giant Eagle, they're in our families. Raise your hand, please, if you have a good answer.

Shit. No hands this time, huh?

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


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WW3 anyone? (Turkey shot down a Russian airplane a little over a year ago…ijs)…